A Message from The IPMS/USA President
IPMS/USA is pleased to support this program and to offer it to all IPMS Chapters. Chapters are encouraged to take advantage of the resources offered here, to contact those persons who have organized and executed an ABC course in their area, and to share this program with other IPMS clubs.
Clubs around the country have unique and interesting programs which may accomplish some of the same goals that ABC addresses, but ABC is the first time such a program has been codified and submitted to IPMS for national and international consideration. ABC was designed by Tony Ivone and Lee Forbes, both of IPMS Alamo Squadron in San Antonio, TX. After organizing and conducting several successful classes in San Antonio, the ABC spread to a neighboring club, IPMS Austin, and Austin began to organize classes. When Tony moved to Ocala, FL, the ABC course took root there. These three clubs have been running successful classes since 2004. Tony and Lee conducted a seminar covering the ABC at the Atlanta Convention and the program came to the attention of the IPMS E-Board.
Many clubs report that they experience problems in attracting and retaining new club members. This program directly addresses that issue. ABC is aimed at adult modelers who are returning to the hobby after an absence, or who are new to the hobby. Adult modelers have the disposable income to buy the tools and kits they need, and also to join a club that offers modeling help and the camaraderie of membership. Experience and data shows that a large percentage of graduates of ABC courses not only join the local clubs but also become advocates of the club, participating in club events and even holding office. And, of course, some graduates join IPMS/USA and have even participated in National Conventions. This course will increase club membership, bring new leadershp to your club, improve the skills of the students, and bring your club much positive publicity and exposure. The track record is proven.
When implemented properly this program works well. The local clubs benefit, the student modelers benefit, and the local hobby shops benefit. The ABC, in a real sense, is Modeling High School. Once the basics have been taught and mastered the opportunity to conduct a Graduate Level course presents itself. Working with epoxy-resin kits, using photo etched parts, using RTV to mold one's own parts, and many other modeling techniques lend themselves as topics for future classes.
The ABC program is by no means at the end of its evolutionary life. As the program is adopted and used by chapters, and as feedback and suggestions reach IPMS and the ABC leaders, changes will certainly take place. This program is dynamic and flexible. Please share your experiences with us through email and digital images. Good luck with your endeavors.